Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Yaniv Perets

Yaniv Perets during his midget days with Lac St. Louis (photo by Rob Amyot, The Suburban)

October has been a very busy month for Quinnipiac hockey not only on the ice with a 5-0 record so far but on the recruiting trail as well with four new verbal commitments picked up in the last month. The most recent of those commitments is Yaniv Perets, a Montreal native playing in the New England region for the Junior Bruins (NCDC). Perets is off to a strong start with a 12-1-0-1 record with a 1.90 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in 14 games played. He is set to enroll at Quinnipiac for the 2020-2021 season. I had a chance to catch up with Yaniv for a Q&A on his recent commitment, his hockey development among other things. Thanks to Yaniv for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this.

@QHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after making this decision to play NCAA Division I hockey at Quinnipiac?

Yaniv Perets: I can't even explain them. I am just happy and fortunate to be going to such a great program like Quinnipiac. It has always been a dream of mine so I am truly excited and just speechless.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting experience? Has Quinnipiac been following you for awhile?

Yaniv Perets: The recruiting process has been over several months, I visited the school over the summer. They have been out to watch several games in person or online as well during that period. It has been a good experience since they have always been honest and respectful.

@QHockeyBlog: What other NCAA schools showed interest in you and what separated Quinnipiac from those other schools?

Yaniv Perets: There were some other schools that had expressed interested, but I believed Quinnipiac was the best fit. After visiting the school during the summer, I just fell in love with the campus and facilities. Quinnipiac also has a rich history of moving on players to the next level and are also a team with a winning culture with great hockey and education combined.

@QHockeyBlog: You are currently with the Jr. Bruins but previously played for Brockvillle in the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL) at the beginning of last season. What went into the move to continue playing junior hockey in the United States as opposed to Junior A in Canada?

Yaniv Perets: When I got the opportunity to play with the Junior Bruins I had to take it. My goal was always to play NCAA Division I hockey and the Junior Bruins have a long history of moving players on to that level. I have been extremely happy ever since joining the Bruins.

@QHockeyBlog: Many players from Quebec choose to go the major junior route. You weren't one of them. What were some of the reasons you chose this path towards NCAA hockey instead of the QMJHL?

Yaniv Perets: I was always a believer in the college path over major junior. Often those who go the major junior route are done at the age of 20 years old, while those in college just start their career at 20. The college path provides great education and hockey. If hockey does not end up working out, I have a degree to fall back on. Also, a player has a lot more time to develop their game in college hockey. There are so many more reasons but those are a few that came to mind.

@QHockeyBlog: You see players from other Canadian provinces go to the NCAA route but that number is not as high with Quebec kids. What do you think is the reason for that? Is it the language barrier?

Yaniv Perets: I think the language barrier is definitely one of the reasons. A lot of players who don't speak English very well just don't see themselves studying in an American college.

@QHockeyBlog: You grew up in a suburb of Montreal and I saw a YouTube interview when you were in Brockville that you are a Canadiens fan. Was it a bit weird putting on the Jr. Bruins uniform knowing it’s very similar to the Boston Bruins uniform?

Yaniv Perets: I actually never thought of it that way until you mentioned. I don't believe it's weird at all as when I play for any team, I am proud to wear their jersey no matter where I am from.

@QHockeyBlog: You are teammates with fellow Quinnipiac commit Cam Boudreau. Did he play any factor in your decision to commit to Quinnipiac?

Yaniv Perets: Maybe a little since he has had nothing but great things to say about the program. He is also a fantastic player, which exemplifies the talent the coaching staff is bringing in.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us about about your overall game in between the pipes. What are some of your strengths and what are areas that you think you can improve upon?

Yaniv Perets: As a goalie I've always believe that there is room for improvement in every aspect of ones game. I believe some of my strengths can include my technique and mental toughness.

@QHockeyBlog: Your set to enroll for the 2020-2021 season. Between now and then what do you want to improve upon prior making the collegiate jump? Would getting stronger be an area you need to work on?

Yaniv Perets: As I said before as a goalie I believe one can improve in every aspect in their game. Getting stronger is definitely an area that I will look to continue to develop along with getting faster and developing my game so I can be an impact player every day.

@QHockeyBlog: Is there a player that you try To model your game after?

Yaniv Perets: I watch a bunch of goalies and try to take bits and pieces of their game that I like. If I had to choose one, I would say Carey Price. Being from Montreal, I grew up watching him. I love how calm and composed he is in his net and how technically sound he is. I look to add some of those characteristics to my game.

@QHockeyBlog: Speaking of Montreal. As I fan of the Boston Bruins, Montreal is obviously our biggest rival. I'm not sure sure there is an atmosphere as good the Bell Centre for a game especially when they play Boston. I have experienced it. Would you agree?

Yaniv Perets: Yes, I would agree. I have been extremely fortunate to go see a couple games when the Bruins have played the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. There is nothing like it, the atmosphere is insane.

@QHockeyBlog: How much have you been able to follow the Canadiens this season? Did you know that former Quinnipiac star Matthew Peca is on the team?

Yaniv Perets: I have been following the Canadiens season very closely. Yes absolutely, I knew about Matthew Peca when he was in Tampa Bay so I was happy to see him join the Canadiens.

@QHockeyBlog: To this point in your life who has been your biggest influence or role model to help you get this opportunity to play Division I NCAA hockey?

Yaniv Perets: I would say my parents. They have always been supportive. Since day one, they have been there through the highs and lows.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person the Quinnipiac community will get in Yaniv Perets on and off the ice?

Yaniv Perets: Someone who loves hockey and is ready to show up to the rink every day ready to work and ready to learn. Off the ice , I am a very approachable and sociable guy.

@QHockeyBlog: Off the ice what do you enjoy doing when you are not playing hockey?

Yaniv Perets: I don't really play any other sports besides hockey but I do enjoy watching some movies or television shows. I enjoy hanging out with some friends as well.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, October 29, 2018

In the Pipeline: 10/29/2018

Quinnipiac moved its record to 5-0 this past weekend with a swept of American International College winning 4-1 Friday followed by a 9-2 thrashing Saturday night. With the win Quinnipiac moved up to #15 in the poll and #12 in the USA Today poll. ECAC play begins this coming weekend when the Bobcats head to Harvard and Dartmouth as they look to validate their great start to the season. Now let's take a look at how some of the future Bobcats did this past week.

Corey Clifton with the Surrey Eagles

USHL commits

A week after winning USHL goaltender of the week, Evan Fear took a hard fought loss in goal with a 3-2 overtime loss. He made 31 saves in the effort for Green Bay. The following night he struggled giving up five goals in a loss to Central Illinois. He faced 42 shots that night which was the second most shots he faced this season. In seven games played he is 3-3-1 with a 2.97 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.

Justin Robbins picked up an overtime win for the Chicago Steel with a 33 save effort in a 4-3 win over Cedar Rapids. In 9 games played he has a 4-3-1 record with a 3.98 goals against average and a .870 save percentage.

BCHL commits

Matt Fawcett picked up another goal for the Powell River Kings. He is now averaging a point per game in the BCHL with 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 17 games played and is third on the team in scoring.

Tyler Ghirardosi recorded on assist two games played for the Trail Smoke Eaters over the weekend. In 17 games he has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists).

Skyler Brind'Amour had a goal in three games played for the Chilliwack Chiefs. He has 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 21 games played this season.

Corey Clifton is riding a five game point streak for the Surrey Eagles. This past week he had a goal and two assists in three games played and in his last five games has three goals and four assists. On the season in 21 games played, Clifton has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists).

PJ Fletcher has started to pick it up on the score sheet. He had a two point week with a goal and an assist in three games played. He now has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 18 games played for the Wenatchee Wild.

Oscar Plandowski

OJHL commits

Nick Kent picked up two more assists in two games for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. In 19 games played he has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists).

NCDC commits

Cam Boudreau had two assists in three games played for the Junior Bruins. The New Hampshire native has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 15 games played.

Quinnipiac picked up a new commit in 2000 born goaltender Yaniv Perets a Montreal native playing for the Junior Bruins. In 14 games played Perets is 12-1-0-1 with a 1.90 goals against average and a .944 save percentage with three shutouts this season.

Defenseman John Campomenosi picked up an assist in three games played. He now has five assists in 17 games played for the Jersey Hitmen.

Connor Tait had a really strong weekend. In three games played he had four points (2 goals and 2 assists). In 12 games played he has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists).

Midget Commits

Oscar Plandowski had a huge week for the Selects Academy U-15 team at the South Kent School. He had 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in four games played. In 23 games played he has 31 points (6 goals, 25 assists).

Jack Silich had a 7 point weekend with 2 goals and 5 assists in three games played for the Chicago Mission U-15 team. On the season he has 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists) in 31 games played.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Quinnipiac sweeps weekend against American International College, moves to 5-0

Quinnipiac at AIC on Friday night in 4-1 win

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (5-0-0) swept a weekend series against American International College (AIC) in a convincing fashion with a 4-1 win on Friday night followed by a 9-2 thrashing on Saturday night in Hamden. Three Bobcats had multi point games Friday as Craig Martin had two goals while Chase Priskie had a goal and an assist and Odeen Tufto had two assists as Quinnipiac led within the first 30 seconds and never trailed.

Junior goaltender Andrew Shortridge got his first start of the season and was strong in between the pipes with 22 saves. Nick Jermain had the other goal for Quinnipiac which was the first of the season for him.

Saturday night saw the Bobcats start strong and finish strong. Alex Whelan scored a hat trick while Wyatt Bongiovanni and Brogan Rafferty each had a pair of goals in the rout. Brandon Fortunato assisted on five of the Bobcats goals while pair of freshman had multi point games in Ethan de Jong (3 assists) and Peter Diliberatore (2 assists). Both Craig Martin and Karlis Cukste had two assists apiece.

Just as they did a night ago, Quinnipiac scored within the first minute and never trailed. They scored five unanswered goals until AIC scored with a little more than two minutes left in the second period. "I thought we were more honest and we played to our identity in the first period, Pecknold said. That was something that we lacked last night". After Alex Whelan opened the scoring, Bongiovanni scored three minutes apart before Alex Whelan capped the first period with his second goal of the game. Captain Chase Priskie scored the Bobcats 5th goal and also assisted on the 8th goal. Four of the first five goals were assisted by Fortunato. "I think the biggest difference is the culture and the buy in from the entire roster and we are all in the right direction, Fortunato said."

Quinnipiac thrashes AIC in Hamden 9-2

Quinnipiac pushed the lead to 6-1 in the third on Brogan Rafferty's first goal of the season. AIC got one back on the power play midway through the third period but the Yellow Jackets took a major penalty when Joel Kocur elbowed Wyatt Bongiovanni in the head, Quinnipiac scored three goals in a three minute span to cap the scoring. 

Keith Petruzzelli got the start and made 17 saves for his fourth win of the season. A key in the game was holding AIC to less than 20 shots. "Our defense is playing well, Fortunato added. We still feel we can be better.We take pride in giving up less than 20 shots a game."

Quinnipiac takes their undefeated record on the road as they open ECAC play next week when they against a pair of Ivy League teams in Harvard and Dartmouth.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Weekend Preview: AIC Yellow Jackets

Brogan Rafferty & the Quinnipiac Bobcats head to AIC off to their best start in 3 years

AIC Head Coach: Eric Lang (3rd season) 25-42-13

2018-2019 AIC record: 2-2-1

All-time vs. AIC: Quinnipiac leads series 23-4-1

AIC Key Players: Blake Christensen (F), Hugo Reinhardt (F), Martin Mellberg (F), Jared Pike (F), Brennan Kapcheck (D), Nicolas Luka (D), Janis Jaks (D), Stefano Durante (G)

For the first time since the 2012-2013 season Quinnipiac will face an old foe from their days in Atlantic Hockey when they play a weekend series against American International College beginning with Friday nights game in Springfield followed by a return to Hamden for the Saturday game. The Yellow Jackets are led by 3rd year coach Eric Lang who has breathed life into this once dormant program. A move to the Mass Mutual Center has helped as well especially on the recruiting front. Historically Quinnipiac has beat up on AIC like a big brother would do to a little brother but the AIC scored its most recent win against Quinnipiac in the Bobcats first Frozen Four season when they beat them 2-1 in Hamden on November 6, 2012. You will see a ton of international flavor with the Yellow Jackets as they have 11 players from Europe, another five from Canada and the rest spanning from nine different U.S. States.

The Yellow Jackets return 81 of 88 goals from a season ago with most of those players being underclassmen a year ago. AIC now has more experience and confidence coming off their best season at the Division I level last year. The Yellow Jackets have some talent up from led by Blake Christensen (6 points), Hugo Reinhardt (4 points), Martin Mellberg (4 points), Shawn McBride (4 points) and Jared Pike (2 points). In five games played the AIC power play has also netted four goals. The AIC offense was strong last weekend netting nine goals against Bentley in a win and a tie so they have the ability to score a handful of goals. 

The AIC defense is only allowing 21.2 shot attempts per game which is very solid. They have some nice offensive talent on the blue line in Brennan Kapcheck (5 points, plus 3), Janis Jaks (1 point) and Patrick Demel (3 points). The penalty kill has struggled for AIC only killing off 77.3% of the opposing teams power play. Quinnipiac has had its power play struggles dating back to last year which have carried into this season as well. This game could be a good opportunity for Quinnipiac to break out of their power play funk.

Sophomore goaltender Stefano Durante burst onto the scene last year for AIC as a freshman going 12-12-2 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. This season has been a bit of a struggle so far. He is 2-1-1 with a 2.93 goals against average which looks good on paper but he has a .844 save percentage which just isn't going to cut it. They will need better play from him if they want to match up with Quinnipiac this weekend.

A week after shutting out Boston College at home Quinnipiac now cannot have a let down against a lessor opponent in AIC. Two wins is a must here to continue the trend upwards and to build confidence for the ECAC slate which begins next weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Goaltender Yaniv Perets commits to Quinnipiac

Yaniv Perets during his time with Brockville
Quinnipiac remains active on the recruiting trail as they picked up their 5th verbal commitment in the last six weeks with today's commitment of 2000 born goaltender Yaniv Perets from the Boston Jr. Bruins of the NCDC. A native of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada, which is a suburb of Montreal, Perets has gotten off to a strong season for the Jr. Bruins going 10-1 with a 1.79 goals against average and a .949 save percentage in 12 games. Statistically, he has been one of the top goaltenders this season in the NCDC.

At 6'1, 177 pounds Perets is a goaltender that catches with his left hand. In the 2017-2018 he split time between the Jr. Bruins and the Brockville Braves of the CCHL. He played in six games for Brockville before playing 34 games with the Jr. Bruins in which he went 17-6-1 with a 2.48 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. He is the second goaltender in the past two weeks behind Evan Fear of the Green Bay Gamblers. Congrats to Yaniv on his commitment and welcome to Bobcat Nation. 


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Monday, October 22, 2018

In the Pipeline: 10/22/2018

It was a good week for Quinnipiac hockey as they are off to their first 3-0 start since the 2015-2016 season after beating UConn in its home opener 4-2 followed by a 1-0 shutout win over 18th ranked Boston College.  The start by Quinnipiac has propelled them back into the rankings. They are 20th in the poll, 15th in the USA Today poll and 3rd in the ever important pairwise rankings. All in all its been a great start to what we all hope will be a turnaround season. Now let's take a look at how some future Bobcats did over the past week.

Evan Fear (photo by Green Bay Gamblers)

USHL commits

Goaltender Evan Fear of the Green Bay Gamblers posted his first career USHL shutout in a 43 save 1-0 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Fear on the season is 3-2 with a 2.59 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in five games played. He picked up the USHL goaltender of the week award for his strong performance.

Logan Britt picked up a lone assist over the weekend for the Lincoln Stars. The defenseman has a goal and three assists in eight games played so far this season.

Justin Robbins went 1-1 over the weekend in goal for the Chicago Steel bringing his season totals to 3-3 with a 4.12 goals against average and a .863 save percentage.

Matt Fawcett (photo by Hayden Tait)

BCHL commits

Matt Fawcett had a five point weekend in three games played for a the Powell River Kings. He had three goals and two assists to help Powell River to two wins over the weekend. He is the teams second leading scorer with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 15 games played.

Quinnipiac picked up a new commit out of the BCHL over the weekend when Matt Fawcett's teammate Jayden Lee committed to Quinnipiac. The 2001 born defenseman is in his second full season in the BCHL. He picked up a goal over the weekend for Powell River and in 15 games played has 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists). Neutral Zone ranks him as a 4 star prospect.

Tyler Ghirardosi had an assists in two games played for the Trail Smoke Eaters. In 15 games he has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists).

Skyler Brind'Amour picked up two assists in three games played over the past week for the Chilliwack Chiefs. In 18 games played he has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists).

Corey Clifton had a really good week for the Surrey Eagles picking up four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in three games played. He is 4th on the team in scoring with 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 18 games played.

PJ Fletcher picked up his second assist of the season over the weekend for the Wenatchee Wild. In 15 games played he has two assists for the season.

Wyatt Head picked up another two assists over the week in three games played for the West Kelowna Warriors. In 16 games played he has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists).

OJHL commits

Nick Kent had a three point week for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres with a goal and two assists. In 17 games played the California native has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists). 

Midget Commits

Victor Czerneckianair had a 10 point week for the Selects Academy U-16 team at the South Kent School. The Southington, CT native has 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) and is second on the team in scoring.

Oscar Plandowski had two assists this past week for the Selects Academy U-15 team at the South Kent School. In 19 games played he has 24 points (4 goals, 20 assists).

Jack Silich is up to 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 28 games played for the Chicago Mission U-15 team.

Liam McLinskey had three points in two games for the Jersey Hitmen U-18 team. In 9 games played he has 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists).

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Defenseman Jayden Lee commits to Quinnipiac

Jayden Lee (photo by BCHL)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats have went to the well once again with the commit of 2001 born defenseman Jayden Lee of the Powell River Kings in the BCHL for the 2020-2021 season according to Chris Heisenberg who tracks all NCAA D-1 commits. The commitment of Lee makes this the 8th future Bobcat currently playing in the BCHL. He is teammates with fellow future Bobcat Matthew Fawcett.

4 ⭐️ prospect Jayden Lee commits to Quinnipiac. Undersized, poised, puck moving defender w/ quickness and 4-way mobility. Effortless puck carrier w/ quick hands, shakes off forecheckers and has deceptive shot power. Earned B+ at BCHL Showcase.

Lee is a 5'9, 150 pound right shot defenseman who according to Powell River general manager and head coach Tyler Kuntz said this about Lee in an article in the Powell River Peak back in August when he traded for him. “Jayden has the ability to control a game with his brain,” said Kuntz. “He's really intelligent, he's very good with the puck, and he has great vision and a very good shot.”

A native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Lee is in his second full season in the BCHL. Currently he has played in 14 games this season for Powell River with five assists. A season ago he played for the Langley Rivermen where in 29 games he had a goal and four assists and added a single assist in four playoff games.

He played prep hockey in the 2016-2017 season for the Burnaby Winter Club in the CSSHL where he played in 28 games with 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists) He tallied another goal and an assist in five playoff games. As a 2001 born defenseman he joins Nick Kent as the only other 2001's committed after Quinnipiac lost former commit Dom Fensore to Boston University.


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Friday, October 19, 2018

Petruzzelli, defense key in Quinnipiac shutout win over Boston College

Quinnipiac vs. Boston College

For the first time since the 2015-2016 season the Quinnipiac Bobcats have started a season 3-0. Goal-tending and defense were the key to victory as Quinnipiac shutout 18th ranked Boston College 1-0 before a sellout crowd at the Frank Perotti, Jr. Arena in Hamden, CT. With the loss Boston College starts a season 0-3 for the first time since 1937 while they have not beaten a non conference opponent since the 2016 season.

Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Keith Petruzzelli made his third consecutive start and was a brick wall tonight making 21 saves en route to his first career collegiate shutout. He was helped by a Bobcat defense that blocked 12 shots and stifled a talented Eagles offense with NHL first round pick Oliver Wahlstrom being held to one shot on goal. The Quinnipiac defense was forced to play big early with two Boston College power plays in the within the first 13 minutes of the game. Both times Quinnipiac killed off the Eagles man advantage and in turn only held Boston College to just three shots on goal in the entire first period.

Quinnipiac vs. Boston College

Late in the first period Boston College took back to back slashing penalties by Marc McLaughlin and Michael Kim respectively and Quinnipiac made them pay towards the end of the five on three advantage when Brandon Fortunato fed Chase Priskie just outside the top circle who ripped a one-timer past Boston College goaltender Joseph Woll (25 saves).

It was all the offense the Bobcats would need in this game as they fended off a strong challenge in the second and third periods when Boston College turned up the pressure a bit with 18 total shots. An underrated play of the game was at the 17:34 mark of third period when Quinnipiac freshman William Fallstrom drew a hooking penalty on BC's Logan Hutsko which prevented the Eagles from pulling Woll and giving Quinnipiac the opportunity to play keep away on the power play to run out the clock.

With the win Quinnipiac moves to 3-0-1 all-time against the Eagles dating back to their first meeting in the 2016 Frozen Four National Semifinals. Quinnipiac now plays a two game series with AIC of the Atlantic Hockey Conference starting with a Friday game on the road followed by a Saturday game in Hamden.

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Weekend Preview: Boston College Eagles

Quinnipiac at Boston College in the 2017-2018 season

Boston College Head Coach: Jerry York (25th season)

2018-2019 Boston College record: 0-2

All-time vs. Vermont: Quinnipiac leads series 2-0-1

Boston College Key Players: Oliver Wahlstrom (F), Jack McBain (F), David Cotton (F), Logan Hutsko (F), Christopher Brown (F), Graham McPhee (F), Julius Mattila (F), Michael Kim (D), Casey Fitzgerald (D), Joseph Woll (G)

The 18th ranked Boston College Eagles opened up their season last week with a pair of road losses to the Wisconsin Badgers 3-0 and 7-5. For the team that was ranked 12th in the USCHO preseason poll it was not the way they expected to start the season. It also extended its win less streak against non Hockey Teams. The last time Boston College won a game against a team other than Hockey East was on November 13, 2016 against Arizona State. That is an eternity for a Jerry York coached team. The Eagles feature 11 draft picks on this roster highlighted by star freshman Oliver Wahlstrom a first round pick of the New York Islanders.

Boston College returns 106 of 108 goals from last season as they had one lone senior on the roster. They add talented freshman Oliver Wahlstrom and Jack McBain into the mix. Quinnipiac may have caught a break as McBain is dealing with an illness and missed last weekends games against Wisconsin and reports are he may miss the game against Quinnipiac. Still this team has a lot of fire power across the board that Quinnipiac will have to worry about including the talented Wahlstrom. Quinnipiac needs to put a ton of focus on Wahlstrom as he has the ability to take over a game. You may remember Wahlstrom from his incredible goal in the Bruins mini one on one back when he was 9 years old. The team has more than just Wahlstrom as Hutsko, Cotton, Mattila and McPhee all posted more than 20 points a season ago and are primed for more this season.

The Eagles have some talented defenseman but this is a defense that just gave up 10 goals in two games against Wisconsin. Seniors Casey Fitzgerald and Michael Kim lead the way as good offensive defenseman. Its a defense that features five upperclassmen but not a ton of size. Jesper Mattila, Luke McInnis and Connor Moore bring a steady presence to the blue line for Jerry York's team. I wouldn't expect this defense to allow as many goals as they gave up last weekend but this could be an area of weakness for them. The lone freshman is Adam Samuelsson the son of former NHL player Ulf.

Junior goaltender Jospeh Woll a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick has been the consistence presence in net for the Eagles for the past two seasons. He struggled last weekend against the Badgers but that should be a blip on the radar for him. The 6'4 Woll plays big in between the pipes and has the ability to make big time saves. He's won 17 games each the past two seasons and will carry the load again this season for the Eagles.

Fresh off a quality 4-2 win over UConn, Quinnipiac continues its tour of Hockey East teams in welcoming Boston College to Hamden for the first time ever. Quinnipiac beat Boston College in the 2016 National Semifinals in Tampa and in the Three Rivers Classic two years ago before tying them in Chestnut Hill, MA as year ago in the season opener. This is one of Jerry York's more talented teams in the past couple of years and much more experienced than they were a season ago when these two teams met. For Quinnipiac to win they will need to play sound defense and get strong goal-tending along with getting some puck luck and outworking the Eagles for loose pucks in all three zones.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Wyatt Head

Wyatt Head (photo by Lorne White, Kelowna Now)
The Quinnipiac connection to the BCHL has gone back many years with many talented players in Bobcats history arriving by way of the Junior A league in Western Canada. Its no surprise that Quinnipiac continues to recruit out there for many of their players. This past week the Bobcats picked up another commit out of the BCHL, this time in West Kelowna Warriors defenseman Wyatt Head. I had a chance to catch up with Wyatt for a Q&A on his recent commitment, his hockey development among other things. Thanks to Wyatt for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this.

@QHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after making this decision to announce your college commitment to Quinnipiac?

Wyatt Head: Thank you. Obviously there’s a little stress off the back after a long time of working towards a college commitment to a great school. It is a lot of excitement in now knowing my future is set with a unbelievable program in Quinnipiac.

@QHockeyBlog: When was the first time Quinnipiac reached out to you in order to let them know of their interest? Have they been on for you for awhile?

Wyatt Head: I first talked to them early in this season at the BCHL showcase and talks continued after that.

@QHockeyBlog: What other NCAA schools showed interest in you before you decided on Quinnipiac?

Wyatt Head: I had talked to a hand full of schools early this season including UMass-Lowell, RIT, Bentley and a few others, but Quinnipiac had always been one of my favorite schools growing up so they immediately jumped out at me when talking with them.

@QHockeyBlog: You mentioned that Quinnipiac has been one of your favorite schools growing up. Have you been following Quinnipiac hockey for a long time?

Wyatt Head: I wouldn’t say a long time but since they’ve had those few real strong runs competing for the championship between 2013 and 2016. So I’ve definitely been following them for a few years.

@QHockeyBlog: You played with current Quinnipiac Bobcat Michael Lombardi last season with West Kelowna. Did you consult with him prior to making the decision on committing to Quinnipiac?

Wyatt Head: Yes for sure I talked to him about it. He told me how he was enjoying it and had lots of good things to say about the program. Just seeing the campus, facilities and talking with the coaches along with the winning culture they’ve created there made the decision to commit there one I felt very confident about.

@QHockeyBlog: Your in your second full season with West Kelowna and after having 21 points a season ago in 58 games played you already have 11 points in 14 games? What type of things did you work on this past summer in order to improve your game in order to see increased offensive production from the blue line?

Wyatt Head: Well I’m definitely trying to improve my strength and speed always which is a huge part of jumping up to college as well. I also did a lot of skill sessions such as power edge pro.

@QHockeyBlog: Your expected to enroll for the 2019-2020 season. What are some of things you want to work on in your game prior to making the jump to the college game?

Wyatt Head: I want to add some weight and get faster and stronger which is something you’ll hear from for a lot of guys making the jump to college. I’ll continue to develop my skills as well as there’s always a lot to work on.

@QHockeyBlog: What would you consider so of your strengths right now as a player?

Wyatt Head: I’d consider myself a very smart hockey player with a high hockey IQ and the ability to make plays. Offense is a big strength of mine for sure.

@QHockeyBlog: Is there any player that you try to model your game after?

Wyatt Head: A player I’ve grown to really like to watch is Drew Doughty. He plays with a lot of passion and always try’s to make something happen when he’s out there. Another player I try to model my game after would be Tyson Barrie from Colorado. I like his ability to make plays out there.

@QHockeyBlog: To this point in your life who has been your biggest influence or role model to help you get this opportunity to play Division 1 NCAA hockey?

Wyatt Head: I think the biggest influences so far in my life have been my parents. They both work extremely hard to give me opportunities to succeed.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person the Quinnipiac community will get in Wyatt Head on and off the ice?

Wyatt Head: I believe they will get a hard working and passionate person. I also consider myself a very caring and selfless person.

@QHockeyBlog: Off the ice what do you enjoy doing when you are not playing hockey?

Wyatt Head: In the summer, I’m a big golf guy and also spend time with my friends and get out and do something. If there’s any opportunity to go hangout with my friends for the day or night I’m there. I’m a very social guy that loves to keep busy.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fallstrom's two goals propel Quinnipiac to home opener win over UConn

Brogan Rafferty skates with the puck against UConn (photo by

Freshman forward William Fallstrom scored two goals including the game winning goal and an empty net goal to lead Quinnipiac to a 4-2 win over UConn in the teams home opener at the Frank Perotti, Jr. Arena at the newly renamed People's United Bank Center. It was the first time since the 2015-2016 that Quinnipiac opened the season with two consecutive wins and that season ended with a Frozen Four appearance in Tampa.

The Bobcats scored the first two goals less than two minutes apart. Senior defenseman Brandon Fortunato got the scoring started when he took a pass from freshman Desi Burgart and found himself wide open and beat UConn goaltender Adam Huska short side just 4:22 into the opening frame.
Less than two minutes later Wyatt Bongionvanni fed Odeen Tufto in front who corralled the puck on his stick faked out Huska and put a back-hander past him for his second goal of the season. UConn got one back late in the first period on freshman Jonny Evans first collegiate goal.

Fallstrom scored the eventual game winner in the second period when Alex Whelan fed him cross ice and Fallstrom beat a diving Huska. Quinnipiac only allowed two UConn shots on goal the entire second period. "The whole month of September and into this month we have been stressing good defense, Fortunato said." Quinnipiac continued its strong defense allowing only five shots in third period and just 13 for the entire game. "Shot blocking is one of the big parts of our culture here, Fortunato added. I think our freshman have done a good job adapting to our culture and it showed tonight."

Quinnipiac vs. UConn (photo by

An ugly hit in happened early in the third period where Brogan Rafferty knocked out Ruslan Iskhakov who lost the puck in the offensive zone and looked down to find it only for Rafferty to run into him. Rafferty never launched or left his feet and the hit was clean in my opinion but he was still given a five minute charging penalty and a game misconduct. UConn never scored on the major penalty but added a power play goal later on in the game by Carter Turnball. Fallstrom added an empty net goal while Keith Petruzzelli made 11 saves for his second consecutive win.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday night when they welcome 18th ranked Boston College (0-2) and 11th overall pick Oliver Wahlstrom who is one of 11 draft picks on the Eagles roster into Hamden for the first time ever. Gametime is set for 7 pm at the People's United Bank Center.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Weekday Preview: UConn Huskies

Quinnipiac at UConn in the 2017-2018 season

UConn Head Coach: Mike Cavanaugh (6th season) 67-89-25

2018-2019 UConn record: 1-0

All-time vs. Vermont: Quinnipiac leads series 18-11-2

University of Connecticut Key Players: Alexander Payusov (F), Benjamin Freeman (F), Jachym Kondelik (F), Kale Howarth (F), Ruslan Iskhakov (F), Miles Gendron (D), Philip Nyberg (D), Adam Huska (G)

The Connecticut Huskies opened their season with a 5-2 win over the United States Military Academy this past Friday. Mike Cavanaugh's team is very young with 11 new freshman into the fold and 17 underclassmen on the roster. While they may be young and have inexperience they do have some talent on the roster in the form of 7 NHL draft picks including four of them who are freshman. The Huskies were picked 8th in the preseason Hockey East coaches poll.

UConn lost its top two scorers from a season ago when Max Letunov signed professionally and Spencer Naas graduated. That is 52 points of offense they will have to replace. Juniors Benjamin Freeman and Alexander Payusov are the top two returning scorers for the Huskies who had 21 and 20 points respectively as season ago. Seniors Karl El-Mir and Max Kalter need to provide more offense as well. Three impact freshman NHL draft picks arrive on campus in Jachym Kondelik, Kale Howarth and Ruslan Iskhakov. Kondelik and Iskhakov have four points already on the young season.  One other freshman to watch for is Jonny Evans (1 assist) who had 190 points in 194 games in the BCHL.

The Huskies have a very tall defense led by captain Miles Gendron and Philip Nyberg the two lone draft picks on the blue line. Five of the seven defenseman stand 6'2 or taller but of the seven defenseman four of them are underclassmen so there is some youth and inexperience back there. This might be an area where UConn is vulnerable and where Quinnipiac could take advantage.

Junior goaltender Adam Huska a New York Rangers draft pick has played the majority of the games the past two season got the start against Army and was strong giving up two goals and finishing the game with a .941 save percentage. Last season Huska finished with a 2.59 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. The Huskies also have a talented freshman in Tomas Vomacka a 5th round draft pick of the Nashville Predators who will push Huska this season to be better in net.

Fresh off a thrilling 3-2 come from behind win over Vermont, Quinnipiac now plays it home opener with instate rival UConn. Its another good chance for the Quinnipiac freshman to continue to improve and contribute and for the Bobcats, a chance to pick up another win against a Hockey East program and to build confidence going into Friday nights premiere match-up at home against Boston College. 

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Monday, October 15, 2018

In the Pipeline: 10/15/2018

Quinnipiac is off and running for the 2018-2019 season. A thrilling 3-2 come from behind win over the Vermont Catamounts gave the Bobcats the type of the start this team needed as it looks to have a bounce back season. Chase Priskie and Odeen Tufto saved the day with big time goals and many of the young players stepped up with points in this effort. Quinnipiac next plays Tuesday against UConn for the home opener. It was also a solid week for some of the future Bobcats so let's take a look at how they have done over the past week.

Logan Britt

USHL commits

Quinnipiac picked up its most recent commit in goaltender Evan Fear from the Green Bay Gamblers. The Illinois native picked up a 5-4 overtime win over Waterloo on Saturday in which he made 37 saves. On the season, Head is 2-2 with a 3.23 goals against average and a .899 save percentage.

Logan Britt picked up a goal over the weekend for the Lincoln Stars. The defenseman has a goal and two assists in six games played so far this season.

Justin Robbins went 1-1 in the last week for the Chicago Steel. He had a very solid game when he gave up two goals in a win against Madison but gave up five goals in loss on Saturday against Muskegon. On the season he is 2-2 with a 4.35 goals against average and a .829 save percentage.

Skyler Brind'Amour (photo by the Chilliwack Chiefs)

BCHL commits

Quinnipiac picked up a new commit out of the BCHL last week with 1999 born defenseman Wyatt Head of the West Kelowna Warriors. The blue liner has gotten off to a strong start with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 13 games played. Stay tuned for a Q&A coming up with Wyatt Head.

Matthew Fawcett has gotten off to a hot start for the Powell River Kings as a rookie with 10 points in his first 10 games played on 3 goals and 7 asssists.

Tyler Ghirardosi has a five game point streak for the Trail Smoke Eaters with three goals and three assists in his last five games played. He had a pair of goals over the weekend and now has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 13 games played.

Skyler Brind'Amour won the BCHL player of the week last week. The Chilliwack Chiefs forward picked up two points this week on a goal and an assist to bring his totals to 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 15 games played.

Corey Clifton picked up an assist this week bring his totals to 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in 15 games played for the Surrey Eagles.

OJHL commits

Nick Kent picked up two assists in three games played for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres this past week. On the season Kent has 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 14 games played. 

Midget Commits

Victor Czerneckianair continues to tally the points for the Selects at South Kent U-16 team. He has 26 points (14 goals and 12 assists) in 20 games played this season.

Oscar Plandowski continues to pile up points from the blue line for the Selects at South Kent U-15 team. In 18 games played he has 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists).

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Tufto, Priskie late goals propel Quinnipiac to season opening win

Alex Whelan and the Bobcats got off on a strong note for the 2018-2019 season

Trailing 2-1 late in their season opener, Quinnipiac turned to its two most consistent players from a season ago to steal a road win late. Senior captain Chase Priskie blasted the tying goal from the edge of the top left circle to tie the game at two at the 17:41 mark of the third period. Tufto, Quinnipiac's leading scorer from a season ago took a loose puck and sniped a shot from the slot past Vermont goaltender Stefanos Lekkas with 15.2 seconds remaining to help the Bobcats get the 2018-2019 season off on the right foot.

A season after posting its worst record in over two decades when they went 16-18-4, Quinnipiac saw a handful of newcomers contribute to the opening night victory. Vermont took the lead towards the end of the first period on a Derek Lodermeier goal. The Bobcats were held scoreless throughout the second period and it wasn't until just under four minutes into the third that freshman Wyatt Bongiovanni redirected a pass from Alex Whelan past Lekkas to tie the game.

Vermont re-took the lead less than five minutes later when Joey Cipollone found the net past Quinnipic starter Keith Petruzzelli. Just when it looked the Bobcats offense was going to stall and they would fall on opening night, Rand Pecknold pulled his goaltender with an offensive zone face-off and his captain delivered with the tying goal. With the game appearing to head to overtime, Tufto sent the Bobcats home to Hamden with a winning feeling.

Freshman William Fallstrom, Desi Burgart and Ethan de Jong all recorded their first collegiate points with assists tonight. Craig Martin also had an assist for the Bobcats while sophomore goaltender Keith Petruzzelli made 22 saves in the win. Quinnipiac returns to the ice on Tuesday night for the home opener against UConn at the People's United Bank Center in Hamden.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Weekend Preview: Vermont Catamounts

Quinnipiac vs. Vermont in 2017-2018 season

Vermont Head Coach: Kevin Sneddon (16th season)

2018-2019 Vermont record: 1-0

All-time vs. Vermont: Quinnipiac leads series 2-1

University of Vermont Key Players: Liam Coughlin (F), Alex Esposito (F), Matt Alvaro (F), Vlad Dzhioshvili (F), Derek Lodermeier (F), Bryce Misley (F), Liam Coughlin (F), Matt O'Donnell (D), Jake Massie (D), Stefanos Lekkas (G)

The Catamounts are coming off an impressive 5-2 win over pre-season #4 Michigan in Ann Arbor last weekend despite being out shot 50-24. Four different Catamounts scored goals and three players had multi point games to get Vermont off on the right foot. Quinnipiac had its final tune-up last weekend with a 5-2 exhibition win over the University of Prince Edward Island. With the dress rehearsal in the books, its now time to take to the stage of the 2018-2019 season.

Vermont lost its top scorer from a season ago when Ross Colton gave up the final two seasons of his college eligibility to turn pro. A team that scored just 79 goals last season has to replace the 16 goals along with 8 on the power play that Colton provided. Our friends over at the UVM Hockey Blog believe it will have to be a collective effort in order to replace Colton as discussed in our Q&A. The top line of Coughlin, Esposito and Alvaro all recorded points on the first two goals against Michigan. That will be the line to watch. Vermont doesn't look like it has a ton of offensive depth but its still early in the season. Former Quinnipiac commit John DeRoche is a freshman on this Catamount team. Bryce Misley and Liam Coughlin are the lone draft picks at forward.

Despite a win last week over Michigan, the Vermont defense might be one of the teams weaknesses according to the UVM Hockey Blog. Its a defense that features no seniors on the blue line. Junior captain Matt O'Donnell and fellow junior Jake Massie provide the veteran experience on the blue line but the majority of the players are sophomores and freshman. They gave up a lot of shots and shot attempts in the Michigan game and that can't continue for Vermont if they want to have success. Massie is the lone draft pick on the blue line for Vermont.

Junior goaltender Stefanos Lekkas is between the pipes as the starter for the third consecutive season. He has won 29 games in two seasons plus one game this season during his time with Vermont. While not overly big he is a steady presence in between the pipes and capable of playing at a high level for Vermont. Lekkas has two career games played against Quinnipiac winning in Belfast Friendship Four championship two years ago before losing to the Bobcats in overtime in Hamden a season ago.

Coming off the programs first losing season in 22 years it is important for Quinnipiac with 12 new freshman on this roster to get off to a good start and build momentum for the 2018-2019 campaign. Quinnipiac will need its young players to step up and the veterans to have better seasons in the past if it wants to return to the heights of the teams between 2013-2016.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Goaltender Evan Fear commits to Quinnipiac

Evan Fear with Springfield Jr. Blues (photo by Ted Schurter, The State Journal Register)

A day after picking up a commitment from Wyatt Head, Quinnipiac picked up another commitment this time when Green Bay Gamblers goaltender Evan Fear announced on his Instagram page that he was committed to Quinnipiac. The Gamblers also announced it in a press release as well. Fear is a 6'2, 196 pound goaltender that catches with his left hand. A native of Winnetka, Illinois which is just north of Chicago, Fear has played in three games so far for Green Bay going 1-2 with a 3.04 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. The commitment is possibly for the 2019-2020 season but also could be for the following year. He is the second committed USHL goaltender Quinnipiac has following fellow 1999 born Justin Robbins who plays for the Chicago Steel.

3.75 ⭐️ prospect Evan Fear commits to Quinnipiac. Coming off dominate year in NAHL, he’s a confident, technical goalie who moves well, can play the puck and tracks pucks through traffic.

He played the 2017-2018 season with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL having a strong year in which he played 35 games going 19-11 with a 2.39 goals against average and a .929 save percentage with two shutouts. He played another three playoff games in which he had a 2.35 goals against average a .920 save percentage.

Fear split the 2016-2017 between Springfield and the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. In 14 games played for Dubuque he was 5-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. While he was with Springfield he posted a 6-4 record in 12 games with a 2.67 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

Before his junior career, he played midget hockey with one of the top programs in the country, the Chicago Mission who play in the High Performance Hockey League. His older brother Erich is currently a junior defenseman for the University of Denver and was part of the 2017 National Championship team. Congrats to Evan and welcome to Bobcat Nation.


Elite Prospects Player Page
USHL Player Page

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wyatt Head commits to Quinnipiac

Wyatt Head playing for West Kelowna

The Quinnipiac Bobcats tapped in once again to the BCHL for their newest commit, this time with 1999 born defenseman Wyatt Head verbally committing to the Bobcats. It is presumed this commitment will be for the 2019-2020 when the Bobcats will lose Chase Priskie, Luke Shiplo and Brandon Fortunato to graduation along with the fact they could also lose Karlis Cukste and Brogan Rafferty to a potential early departure for professional contracts.

Head is a 6'1, 170 pound Kelowna, British Columbia native who is currently playing for West Kelowna in the BCHL. The left shot defenseman is off to a strong start in his second full season in the BCHL with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 11 games played. His 10 points lead all BCHL defenseman in scoring so far this season. In 58 games a season ago for West Kelowna he had 21 points (3 goals, 18 assists) in 58 games played plus another two assists in four playoff games. 

Prior to playing for West Kelowna, Head is a product of the Okanagan Rockets midget program in the BCMML. Congrats to Wyatt and welcome to Bobcat Nation.


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Q&A with the UVM Hockey Blog

Quinnipiac vs. Vermont in the 2017 season in Hamden, CT

With the 2018-2019 Quinnipiac hockey season set to commence this weekend against Vermont in Burlington we had a chance to catch up with our friends over at the UVM Hockey Blog who were gracious enough to do a Q&A about the match-up between Quinnipiac and Vermont. If you love college hockey and follow other college hockey team blogs give a follow to @TheVTHockeyBlog on Twitter.

@QHockeyBlog: Coming off a losing season what are the expectations up in Burlington this season for the Catamounts?

@TheVTHockeyBlog: From the fan base perspective not very high. A lot of fans are disillusioned with the program at the moment, particularly with the odd timing of Kevin Sneddon's extension last season. Our top scorer from last season, Ross Colton, left after his sophomore year for a professional contract. The Michigan win last weekend may have given fans reason to hope, especially because there is talent on this team, but I think we're still keeping our expectations tempered. I think most people would consider a successful season to be "make the damn playoffs'.

@QHockeyBlog: How stunned were you they beat Michigan in Ann Arbor?

@TheVTHockeyBlog: I'm still trying to process that game, ha ha. On the road, in one of college hockey's most hostile road environments, against a preseason top-five team, during their homecoming is not a game I expect to win even in a good year. I hope it's a sign of things to come, but again, trying not to overreact to one game.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: What are the expectations for Quinnipiac this year coming off a disappointing 2017-2018 season?

@QHockeyBlog: From the fan perspective I think finishing with a potential top 4 finish in the ECAC and a winning season would be something nice to accomplish. Inside that locker room my guess is they have much higher expectations. I picked them 5th in the media poll for the ECAC and it would not surprise me if they topped that depending if a lot of the freshman contribute right away.  This team has 12 incoming freshman the most they have had in a few years and limited upperclassmen. In order for great success this year it will have to be the young kids playing well.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: You mention the freshmen, who are some of the big names to look out for that may make an impact right away?

@QHockeyBlog: In terms of the freshman that should make an impact right away are Ethan de Jong, Wyatt Bongiovanni, William Fallstrom, Desi Burgart and Peter Diliberatore. The first four are forwards and Diliberatore is a defenseman and a draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights. Diliberatore is also a true freshman and making a huge jump from prep hockey to NCAA hockey so there may be some adjustment for him in terms of the speed of the college game.

@QHockeyBlog: With the loss of Ross Colton who is Vermont looking to have score for them this season?

@TheVTHockeyBlog: I think Vermont is trying to replace him by improvements across the board since they can't straight-up replace his skill level. The top two lines both played very well against Michigan, especially the top line of Matt Alvaro, Liam Coughlin, and Alex Esposito who combined on Vermont's first two goals. Esposito was sneaky good last year and appears to have picked up where he left off. I'd also look for more from sophomores Bryce Misley and Vlad Dzhioshvili; both had disappointing freshman years (though Dzhioshvili's was mostly due to injury), but those two looked good on a line with classmate Martin Frechette against Michigan.

@QHockeyBlog: What would you say are the strengths of this Vermont team?

@TheVTHockeyBlog: I think the biggest strength is the forecheck. During the Michigan game, they were very aggressive on the forecheck, constantly swarming the Wolverine defenseman and daring them to make mistakes. They do have a lot of speed on the team which helps them pull this off. It also helps that the Vermont blue-line is a bit more experienced now. You could see some "young team jitters" from them last year, and while they did give up a ton of shots in Ann Arbor I do think they have the potential to at least be decent.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: What's the goalie situation looking like for Quinnipiac? Keith Petruzzelli came in with a lot of hype last year but wasn't the stalwart that many expected.

@QHockeyBlog: Your guess is as good as mine. Both goalies are talented but Petruzzelli has the most upside of both of them. I really think that coach Pecknold needs to find a goalie that stays hot and ride him. If you look at Quinnipiac’s past success from 2013-2016, it was Eric Hartzell who dominated in 2013 en route to the Frozen Four as a Hobey Baker finalist followed by Michael Garteig in 2014, 2015 and 2016 setting the school record for wins and leading them to another Frozen Four. The last two years you saw a tandem and the results were a solid season two years ago just missing the NCAA tournament and the first losing season in 22 years last year. I think it’s a must to have consistency in net and ride a hot net minder.

@QHockeyBlog: What are some of the weaknesses of Vermont that Quinnipiac could possibly exploit this Saturday?

@TheVTHockeyBlog:  I know I just said the defense is a bit more experienced, but they did show some early-season jitters against Michigan, I think the shot attempts were something like 80-40, and while a lot of that was on Michigan's power play and just basic score effects, it's something to keep an eye on.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: What are some of the Quinnipiac's strengths and weaknesses?

@QHockeyBlog: The top four of the Bobcats defense should be good led by captain Chase Priskie and they have two good goaltenders that just need to show consistency. I would say the offense is a weakness as they were not very good last year. But they can definitely change that with the young kids breaking out and some of the upperclassmen having good years.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: What's the biggest key to beating this team?

@QHockeyBlog: I would say you have to beat them in the neutral zone, win lose pucks and have a strong forecheck. That is normally how Quinnipiac has its success against most teams.

@TheVTHockeyBlog: What do you expect from this game? As the first game of the season, do you expect some kinks with such a large incoming class?

@QHockeyBlog: They already played an exhibition game, a 5-2 win over the University of Prince Edward Island. The offense was very solid and they moved the puck well but Rand Pecknold said they still have some things to clean up prior to the Vermont game. There could be some early freshman jitters but we won't know until Saturday. Quinnipiac really needs to win this game to get off on the right foot this season and to build confidence.

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